JDRF-Funded Study on Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) in Pregnant Women with Type 1 Diabetes Shows Improved Outcomes for Their Newborns

TORONTO, Oct. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Babies born to women with type 1 diabetes (T1D) may soon be at a reduced risk of complications after a JDRF-funded study revealed that observing blood sugar levels via a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) throughout pregnancy leads to better glycemic control for mothers and healthier outcomes for their infants.

The results of this landmark randomized international trial, held across 31 hospitals in Canada (including 11 sites in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia), the United Kingdom, Spain, Ireland, Italy and the United States, prompted the authors to call for physicians to extend CGM devices to all pregnant women with T1D.

“A multinational study of this calibre and magnitude that offers promising clinical outcomes for mothers and their newborns is an incredible accomplishment in the global diabetes research agenda,” says Dave Prowten, President and CEO at JDRF Canada. “Working together, we can accelerate this type of transformative research and ensure it becomes available to all women in the T1D community.” 

Neonatal complications such as premature birth or higher-than-average birth weights currently affect one in two babies born to women with T1D. As well, many of these new mothers are more likely to have pre-eclampsia and Caesarean sections. CGM systems have the potential to revolutionize diabetes management among pregnant women with T1D because they allow them to take immediate action in response to high or low blood sugars and avoid other serious health-related issues.

“Maternal and fetal outcomes for women with T1D in pregnancy are worse than those for the rest of the population, and it has been difficult to improve these outcomes,” states Dr. Denice Feig, head of the Diabetes in Pregnancy Program at the Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network in Toronto, as well as co-principal investigator of the study.  “Our research shows that using real time continuous glucose monitoring leads to a reduction in neonatal health complications. This study offers a new option to help pregnant women with diabetes and their children.”

The study, CONCEPTT: Continuous Glucose Monitoring in Women with Type 1 Diabetes in Pregnancy Trial, involved 325 women aged 18-40 with T1D who managed their condition with daily insulin therapy (insulin pumps or multiple daily injections) and were either pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Half were randomly assigned to use a CGM, and half used the traditional monitoring (testing blood by pricking their finger approximately four to eight times a day). The CGM was worn for approximately 24 weeks (from 10-12 weeks until the end of their pregnancy).  

Among the researchers’ findings, expectant mothers who used a CGM had improved glucose control overall and spent an extra 100 minutes per day with blood sugar levels in the recommended target range in late pregnancy as compared to those who were trying to conceive.

Holly Byrne, a trial participant at Mount Sinai’s Diabetes and Endocrinology in Pregnancy Clinic, will always be grateful for the experience that enabled her to have an easier pregnancy and a healthy child.

“Continuous glucose monitoring in diabetes management is vital to understanding blood glucose trends and insulin dosing,” says Byrne. “It provided me with A1C results that I never thought I would achieve. I also no longer have anxiety when dealing with low blood sugars.” Funded by JDRF’s Canadian Clinical Trial Network – a partnership between JDRF Canada and FedDev Ontario, an agency of the Government of Canada – this ground-breaking study will serve as a catalyst for improved access to life-saving CGM technology for pregnant women worldwide.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, for more information about the CONCEPTT study, T1D research and advocacy updates visit www.jdrf.ca.

About JDRF Canada:

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research. Our goal is to raise funds to support the most advanced international type one diabetes research and progressively remove the impact of this disease from people’s lives – until we achieve a world without type 1 diabetes. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure type 1 diabetes. JDRF is the largest charitable supporter of type 1 diabetes research. For more information, please visit jdrf.ca.

For more information:

Chloé Roussel
National Bilingual Communications Specialist
JDRF Canada
Phone: 647.789.2459
Email: croussel@jdrf.ca